The Internet of Things (IoT) is a global phenomenon that is transforming the way businesses and consumers both work and play. Small businesses, industrial giants, and government institutions alike are beginning to use IoT platforms to control everything from supply chain management, predicting equipment maintenance, and making cities operate more efficiently.
Best of all, one doesn’t need a big budget to apply this technology to their business. The cost of IoT sensors is dropping rapidly, thanks in part to volume, with the average rate of a single device forecast to be US$0.38 by 2020. By starting small, any business can tap into their future potential by partnering with the right IoT provider.
Why is IoT Good for Businesses?
IoT refers to a network of physical devices that are connected over a wireless network to an intelligent platform that can derive both insight and action from the data it collects and analyzes. These connected devices send and receive information in real-time to control security and surveillance, power heart monitors and diagnostics, provide real-time retail insights, access search engines through voice commands, track livestock migration, redistribute heating and lighting settings, and much more.
IoT is designed to save time and money while optimizing efficiency through data management. By 2020, estimates place the number of connected devices to grow to around 30 billion worldwide. By having remote control over business solutions, companies stand to gain the following benefits:
- Remote control of IoT-enabled devices from any physical location
- Real-time supply chain tracking and management
- Telematics and fleet management improvements
- Efficiency through data analytics and predictive maintenance
- Better customer service through audience and sentiment analysis
- Increased consumer trust through consistency and improved quality
The best thing about IoT is its ability to adapt to almost any digital business solution. The utility of IoT applications is limited only by the imagination.
How Can Businesses Get Started in IoT Solutions Without a Huge Investment?
Companies can start their IoT deployment with a relatively small budget and target market in mind, while at the same time laying the foundations for IoT solutions at scale.
Imagine for a moment:
At a medical supply shipping company where lives are on the line, maintaining a stable, unbroken cold chain is crucial for day-to-day operations in the delivery of temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals. Using wirelessly connected thermostat-regulating IoT modules can greatly improve tracking and monitoring the distribution initially for a single line of drugs perhaps within a single state, region or country.
Once the value of this limited IoT implementation has been proven with all the savings, the same company can expand for the future with greater savings. For example, purchasing shipping crate modules with built-in sensors for the entire family of pharmaceuticals ensures that supplies are stored and shipped at the right temperatures and delivered on-time. Within a few quarters, the company may even decide to ship their supplies globally.
Developing a strong business relationship with a trusted IoT partner with the capacity to meet evolving needs allows business operators to evaluate potential IoT projects with very little risk. The right team can help you cut costs through data-driven solutions.
3 Important Questions when seeking an IoT Provider to Support Growth at Your Pace
When searching for the right IoT solutions partner, enterprises should ask the following questions:
1. Does my provider offer tools that are agile? This includes plug and play device integration for legacy OT equipment, edge computing for efficient data management, and interoperability with other cloud and IT providers, all enabling fast deployment, and increased time-to-value.
2. Is my IoT provider experienced in scaling IoT solutions? Can the provider back up their products and services with successful operations that meets the needs of multiple industries? Make sure your IoT provider isn’t a one-trick-pony and can prove their success across the playing field for small and large-scale deployments and everything in between. This proves their flexibility and innovative prowess.
3. Does my IoT provider's services and solutions scale to my budget? Good providers should be able to upgrade their systems remotely without replacing hardware or halting production. For example, they may offer a pay-as-you-grow IoT platform that has developer-friendly pricing, so you can scale at the pace of your budget, not theirs.
In addition, find a provider that is up-to-date with current trends, like 5G, NB-IoT, LwM2M etc. An effective IoT provider should also offer extended support and maintenance assistance that is available 24/7.
The right IoT provider can offer cost-effective solutions for your business while helping you think two steps ahead.
Grow Your Potential with Telit
When searching for the right IoT business partner, consider Telit. Telit is a valuable asset to companies around the world as a leader in the IoT industry. Telit’s deviceWISE platform has driven double-digit savings in the realm of oil management, lowered IT and truck roll costs with shipping companies, and improved restaurant technology efficiency. Telit is dedicated to building smart, safe environments and devices that work hand in hand with their employees. No matter what your need may be, Telit is the catalyst to transform your business through the power of IoT.